Thursday, April 18, 2013

What IS the Difference Between 20th and 21st Century Classrooms

Student examining a laptop.
What ARE the differences between the 20th and 21st Century Classrooms?  We have heard a great deal about how the 21st Century Classroom's characteristics but I found that the 21st Century Schools website has a comprehensive comparison.

How should we use this? I have introduced this in my classes and my students have found it to be a valuable tool fool as they evaluated their own classes as to their level of 21st Century qualities.

Look these over and use them to review your own classes.  How can you improve your teaching?

  • 20th Century Education is teacher-centered with a fragmented curriculum and students working in isolation memorizing facts.
  • 21st Century Education is student-centered with real-life, relevant, collaborative project-based learning.

20th Century Classroom Qualities
21th Century Classroom Qualities
Focus:  memorization of discrete facts
Focus:  What students Know, Can Do and Are Like after all the details are forgotten.
Lessons focus on the lower level of Bloom’s Taxonomy – knowledge, comprehension and application.
Learning is designed on upper levels of Blooms’ – synthesis, analysis and evaluation (and include lower levels as curriculum is designed down from the top.)
Textbook-driven (content comes from textbooks)
Research-driven (content comes from student research)
Passive learning
Active Learning
Learners work in isolation – classroom within 4 walls
Learners work collaboratively with classmates and others around the world – the Global Classroom
Teacher-centered:  teacher is center of attention and provider of information
Student-centered:  teacher is facilitator/coach
Little to no student freedom
Great deal of student freedom
“Discipline problems" – educators do not trust students and vice versa.  No student motivation.
No “discipline problems” – students and teachers have mutually respectful relationship as co-learners; students are highly motivated.
Fragmented curriculum
Integrated and Interdisciplinary curriculum
Grades averaged
Grades based on what was learned
Low expectations
High expectations – “If it isn’t good it isn’t done.”  We expect, and ensure, that all students succeed in learning at high levels.  Some may go higher – we get out of their way to let them do that.
Teacher is judge.  No one else sees student work.
Self, Peer, and Other assessments.  public audience, authentic assessments.
Curriculum/School is irrelevant and meaningless to the students.
Curriculum is connected to students’ interests, experiences, talents, and the real world.
Print is the primary vehicle of learning and assessment.
Performances, projects, and multiple forms of media are used for learning and assessment
Diversity in students is ignored.
Curriculum and instruction address student diversity
Literacy is the 3 R’s – reading, writing and math
Multiple literacies of the 21st century – aligned to living and working in a globalized new millennium.
Factory model, based upon the needs of employers for the Industrial Age of the 19th century.  Scientific management.
Global model, based upon the needs of a globalized, high-tech society.
Driven by the NCLB and standardized testing mania.

Standardized testing has its place.  Education is not driven by the NCLB and standardized testing mania.
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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. We are now in the 21st century. Are beginning to see any shifts toward this ideals on the right?

  3. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Thank you for this information

  4. This article is very useful for us to be able to know how well 20th and 21st compared in the classroom. this is also be more helpful to our millennial learners where we all observed that their focused was on their online games and other social medias involve, they must also learn alternatively.

  5. Anonymous5:21 AM

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  7. Anonymous3:14 PM

  8. Anonymous4:03 AM

    What about the similarities

  9. Anonymous6:57 AM

    How is 21st century learning different from learning in the 20th century?

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